When Daredevil launched last year, everyone was taken by surprise by just how incredible the series was, so perhaps it was no surprise that Marvel would rush out a second season as soon as possible, but fears about whether this could top the previous series were set. Well, it’s safe to say that not only is this series all round, but it manages to improve upon the first series in almost every aspect. Whereas the first season felt a bit like a slow-burner before we got to Kingpin and his story-arc, this series hits the ground running, going at breakneck speed, yet that speed is set at a perfect pace and that brilliantly allows the show enough breathing time to flesh-out all of the character-arcs involved.
Much like the equally-fantastic Jessica Jones, this introduces its potential major threat almost immediately, and that, combined with the flow of the narrative, makes this a much more consistent story than before. Much like The Dark Knight, escalation and how past decisions create consequences and affects those around you become the driving force for the series. Over the course of the series, Matt’s alliance/friendship with both Foggy and Karen gets tested with friendships and relationships getting challenged and the secrecy involved, making this a much more personal story for Matt.
Like before, the fight sequences are incredibly well-choreographed, packing a punch (literally!), and at times, it feels like you are watching a symphonic ballet of blood and beatings, particularly when Elektra gets involved. Daredevil’s confrontation with Punisher harks back to a classic Garth Ennis comic that fans will no doubt squeal in delight at, and the amazing hallway/stairwell battle sequence in episode 3 will no doubt get compared to the legendary corridor battle in the last season. Despite having a small budget, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the limitations on screen; everything looks amazing with dazzling cinematic direction, gorgeous cinematography (kudos to Martin Ahlgren), and definitely captures the tone and feel of the Frank Miller comics.
Charlie Cox is still the perfect man for the role, bringing the right balance of dashing charm and determined grit, and much like Krysten Ritter with Jessica Jones, Cox has made the part his own, successfully making Matt an engaging character. Even though Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson feels more sidelined this time round, the brilliant Deborah Ann Woll steps up a notch, as Karen becomes much more involved in the action as we see her investigating Punisher’s past, and we witness the growth in her relationship with Matt.
Frank Castle/The Punisher is an iconic anti-hero who has been poorly served in previous adaptations, but here, we get the Punisher we have been yearning for. Jon Bernthal is an absolute force of nature, delivering a Punisher that is both brutal and sadistic, and if you are a fan of Garth Ennis’s Punisher MAX then you’ll be very happy with what Bernthal brings to the table. However, the real surprise and standout has to be Elodie Yung as Elektra; she IS Frank Miller’s creation come to life and Yung gives a performance that is electrifying, terrifying, cool, cunning and drop-dead sexy, plus her chemistry with Charlie Cox is definitely sizzling. Elektra is the show’s ultimate femme fatale that causes trouble, and Yung completely nails what is strangely unique and fascinating about that character.
It’s not without its faults; there are a few revelations that can be spotted from a mile away and lack any real impact, the absence of Kingpin is noticeable, and there’s a certain moment at the end that doesn’t feel earned at all, especially if you’ve read the comics. But as it stands, Season 2 of Daredevil improves on the first in almost every way, not just with its sense of scale and scope, but also in its wide variety of characters that’ll no doubt play an important role for future seasons to come.
Dir: Phil Abraham, Marc Jobst, Peter Hoar, Floria Sigismondi, Andy Goddard, Ken Girotti, Michael Uppendahl, Stephen Surjik, Euros Lyn
Scr: Bill Everett, Drew Goddard
Starring: Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Rosario Dawson, Jon Bernthal, Elodie Yung, Stephen Rider
Music: John Paesano
DOP: Martin Ahlgren
Number of Episodes: 13
Episode Runtime: 60mins
Marvel`s Daredevil is available to stream now only on Netflix.